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More than a Third of French Voters Support Candidates Involved in Corruption Scandals
For his part, Fillon has been accused of involvement in a fictitious employment scheme nicknamed “Penelopegate” after his wife, Penelope Fillon. The center-right candidate allegedly paid his wife and children almost €1 million in public funds for work they likely never did. Fillon’s reputation has also been tainted by reports that he has received €50,000 worth of luxury suits and clothing from a wealthy donor since 2012.
Even more worrying than its willingness to elect corrupt candidates, a large portion of the French electorate also seems willing to tolerate a blatant disregard for the judicial system, as well as honesty itself, by its politicians.
Le Pen, for example, has refused to reimburse the European Parliament for €298,392 connected to the fake parliamentary assistants scandal. After being summoned twice, Le Pen refused to appear in front of judges about the matter, invoking her immunity as an EU lawmaker. Ironically, the far-right candidate has based her campaign, in part, on targeting a profiteering “elite” and promising to be tough-on-crime.
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